What CMV is
Cytomegalovirus (sy-to-MEG-a-lo-vi-rus) is a virus from the same family as herpes. In children and adults, CMV causes:
- A high fever
- Sore throat
- Swelling in the neck
Most people who get CMV are between 15 and 17 years old. But anyone can get it.
How you can get CMV
You can get CMV through:
- Saliva (spit)
- Having sex with someone with CMV
- Coughing and sneezing
- Getting blood from someone with CMV
If you have CMV during the first half of the pregnancy, there's a greater chance you could give CMV to your baby.
How CMV can hurt your baby
If your baby is born with CMV, he can have:
Newborns with CMV often:
- Weigh less than normal
- Have a liver and spleen that are bigger than normal
- Have jaundice, where the baby's skin is yellow
- Have spots on their skin
How you can protect yourself and your baby against CMV
There's not much you can do about CMV. You could have CMV and not know. That's because the symptoms are mild. About half of adults have had CMV once without knowing it.
But if you're thinking of having a baby:
- Ask your doctor to test you for CMV.
- If you haven't had CMV already, try to avoid being around people who have CMV.